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Publisher's Summary

An epic, richly inventive, historically sweeping, magical romance.
When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years: one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons, and long-lived vampires.
Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing.
As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels....
©2011 Deborah Harkness (P)2011 Deborah Harkness
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Critic Reviews

"Intelligent and off-the-wall, it will be irresistible to Twilight fans." (The Sunday Times)
"Write what you know, debut novelists are told and Professor Deborah Harkness has accordingly set hers in the world of academia…. A bubbling cauldron of illicit desire…. all the ingredients for an assured saga that blends romance with fantasy." (Daily Mail)
"A romp through magical academia." (Guardian)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Eleanor on 04-30-12

Wonderful book

Absolutely adored this book. Erudite, dripping with history, wonderful and funny writing - could not put it down. The whole idea of the book is fascinating - make you look at people and on the street and wonder "Are they........?" Will not spoil it, but her theory could explain why psychiatry does not really work all the time!! The narrator Jennifer Ikeda was excellent....was able to do a variety of accents - a very creditable Australian accent, which so few seem able to manage, French (ancient and modern) and a Glaswegian accent!!!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By GinnysHex on 10-05-11

Wonderful

I read the book before I bought the audiobook and though I enjoyed the book greatly I love the audiobook even more. I loved the different accents Jennifer Ikeda did for the characters and I hope that when Deborah Harkness finishes and release the next book that Jennifer Ikeda will do the next one as well.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By kerry jacobs on 03-02-11

Enthralled

I really loved this book and cant wait for the authur to produce a sequel. It was pure fantasy and escapism. The narrator is also very good, it was most enjoyable and got me through hours of sewing in a world of my own.

Thank you

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful


By Caroline Marks on 03-01-11

A surprisingly mature paranormal romance

What strikes me most about this novel is its intelligence. The author pays her readers the compliment of assuming they are intelligent and will keep up. It's packed with references to history, mythology, genetics and the human genome project, philosophy, Yoga and Eastern spiritualism, traditional values vs feminism, natural history...the discussion of how alchemical principles might have inspired Darwin's theory of evolution is simply brilliant. And on top of that, it has an engaging plot, rounded characters, an original take on the genre and a satisfying ending that nonetheless leaves me eager for the sequel.

The central romance between Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, develops slowly. These characters aren't teenagers and their relationship is complex and convincing: no love-at-first-sight or adolescent babblings about unconditional love. They aren't soulmates; in fact they have some serious personality conflicts that aren't fully resolved by the end. Diana's independence doesn't sit well with Matthew's old-fashioned values and protective nature. But they work these things out.

Their relationship plays out against a backdrop of a supernatural world that lives within our own. The 'creatures' do their best to keep their existence a secret from humans but don't always seem to succeed.

If the novel has a fault, it's a bit heavy on the exposition, sometimes at the expense of moving the plot onward. Occasionally, significant events are kind of rushed through, with minimal detail, which when it's an audiobook means if your attention wanders, you can miss important information. Also, the narrator really should have learned how to pronouce the names of the Oxford colleges; the mispronunciation is really irritating but that's only in the first act.

I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to any reader who is, like me, tired of the Twilight-clones. This has superficial similarities to Twilight, but it's a far superior work.

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31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Monique M. on 03-28-15

Fantastically captivating

I didn't think I was going to find another book(s) that engrossed me like the OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabeldon and Davina porter. ......but my goodness THIS series of books did it..and even perhaps more. Brilliant flow of imaginative writing that was captivating. Exciting tasteful romance that pulsed and pulsed and had me hooked, strong intriguing characters that were easily liked or disliked as the author wished and Imaginative narration that made listening to this series outstanding. Thank you.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Lyn on 05-19-15

Great Read!

Follow the forbidden love story of Diana, the reluctant witch and Matthew, the distant, but charming vampire, who fall in love while on the quest to find the meaning of life. The ancient text, Ashmole 782 holds the key to the origin of species: witches, vampires, daemons and humans surfaces on Diana's request, but mysteriously goes missing.
Deborah Harkness weaves her magic as the mystery and love story unfold, taking the reader to great heights. Well worth the read of this first in the All Souls Trilogy.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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